If you walked or ran for a very long distance or prolonged your workout routine soreness or stiffness in your legs might not require a visit to the doctor. But leg pain or fatigue that develops after you have been walking or climbing stairs for a few minutes is a classic symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). “ PAD pain inhibits all your activities. One of the main complaints I hear is that people can’t even go grocery shopping anymore because of pain associated with walking,” says Dr.Sherry Scovell, a vascular surgeon and instructor in surgery at Harvard Medical School. The pain of PAD often goes away when you stop exercising, after a few minutes. This is because working muscles need more blood flow and resting muscles can get by with less. The cramping pain when caused by PAD is called intermittent claudication and is the muscle’s way of warning the body that it isn’t receiving enough blood during exercise to meet the increased demand. Some of the other symptoms of PAD are: Non-healing wounds, a marked decrease in the temperature as compared to the other leg or the rest of your body, poor nail growth on the toes and hair growth on the legs, erectile dysfunction especially in men with diabetes. One of the best ways to differentiate PAD pain from other causes of leg pain is that PAD leg pain occurs in the muscles, not the joints. Anyone can develop PAD but there are certain people that at a higher risk of developing PAD; If you are a man over 60, have diabetes or are a smoker, have high blood pressure or a history of vascular disease you are at a higher risk of developing PAD. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute African Americans are more than twice as likely to have PAD as their white counterparts.
If you are suffering from painful muscle cramping in the hips, thighs or calves when walking, climbing stairs or exercising that does away when at rest or if you know you are in the risk category for developing Peripheral Artery Disease call (888) 628 9389 to get in touch with our vascular specialists at USA Vascular Centers. All treatments at USA Vascular Centers is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.